If you’re looking for the best headset on the market, do you need to drop $150 to get the quality you want? SteelSeries is notorious for their very well-received gaming mice, but does that tier of quality carry over to their other peripherals as well, and more specifically the SteelSeries Arctis 7? Let’s find out.
|Driver Size||40mm||DTS 7.1||PC, Mac, Playstation, Switch, Mobile|
|Frequency Response||20-20,000KHz||RGB Lighting||Yes|
|Sensitivity||98 db||Ear Cup Rotation||Yes|
|Impedance||32 Ohm||Box Contents||Yes|
|T.H.D.||< 3%||Product Information Guide|
|Frequency Response||100hz-10,000KHz||4-pole 3.5mm Cable||Yes|
|Sensitivity||-38 db||Toslink Optical Cable||Yes|
|Location||On Ear Cup (Retractable)||Headset Stand||N/A|
|Mute Toggle||Yes||Part Number||No|
|Range||12m / 40ft|
|Battery Life||24+ Hours|
Let’s look at some of the features and I’ll give you my opinions on them. The Arctis 7’s are completely wireless with “lag free” wireless audio. The headset connects to a USB powered wireless dongle with a 2.4 gigahertz frequency with a range up to 12 meters for 40 feet.
The headset rocks the S1 speaker drivers with an acclaimed DTS 7.1 Surround Sound exclusively on PC. Surround sound is not available on Mac, Xbox, PS4, VR or other devices.
On a full charge the SteelSeries Arctis 7 headset will have battery life up to 24 hours and is charged through a micro USB connection from the USB dongle.
There’s a retractable microphone that is flexible to point in any desired direction. When the microphone is muted the tip of the microphone emits a red LED.
The headset control buttons are located on the bottom of the headset which includes a mute button for the mic, volume dial for the speakers and a chat mix dial which adjusts the volume between the in-game volume and the chat volume. This feature works on PC and Mac only.
You use the downloadable software to adjust voice settings which I’ll get to in a little bit.
Construction and Comfort
The Arctis 7 is constructed out of aluminum with a ski goggle elastic band to sit on top of the head. I actually prefer to have an elastic band on the headset as they suspend the frame from digging to my skull after 30 minutes. I think it’s something that most headsets should implement. The ski band adjusts by undoing the velcro and retracting band from the slit into the top of the frame to the desired length to best suit your needs.
The ear cups on the Arctic 7 are nothing special to me in terms of comfort, they get the job done but the fabric isn’t that soft for paying $150. They do keep my ears from getting hot with the porous fabric and I do like that. The fabric itself and the cushion doesn’t feel that comfortable as well after 30 minutes.
The frame of the headset is very lightweight which I like a lot. With the elastic headband the headset just feels like it’s floating on my head. Coupled with the wireless aspect of this headset, it’s not restrictive at all. I feel free to walk about and move around without a wire attached to my head.
Overall comfort is pretty good, even though the ear cups are not super soft. As for the construction, from what I could tell these are well-built. The outside of the cups has a rubberized surface that don’t really creak or squeak when I squeeze them and like I said earlier the top band is made of aluminum.
So how did these bad boys sound and are they truly lag free? In terms of lag, in my honest opinion I did not notice any lag at all. Maybe to someone who has an incredible reaction skill set then they may notice a slight lag but for me as a casual gamer I couldn’t.
I tested this out by opening up FL Studio and pressing play on and off repeatedly to listen to any lag between me pressing play on the keyboard to the image of my monitor showing the song starting to the sound being relayed to my ears. During this session I could not notice any lag. I played some Titanfall 2 and a couple other games, and again no lag.
The surround sound on this headset was decent. You can try as hard as you want to get a 7.1 surround sound coming out of two directional sources but you most likely won’t be able to replicate it. The spatial awareness is limited and okay for what it is. This headset is completely wireless so replicating 7.1 surround sound is going to be difficult to begin with, but I will say this, though despite the lack of true 7.1 surround sound the headset still had me partially immersed into my gaming environment, which I enjoyed.
Out of the box this headset has a relatively flat response curve, so you don’t get the depth bass and rich sound altogether after adjusting the various volumes in the software I was able to adjust it my liking.
As for the quality of the microphone, like most gaming headsets it is passable. I don’t know why but to this day, headsets with a decent microphone are almost non-existent.
Here are my overall thoughts on the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset. I like the simple aesthetic in the camo headband. The comfort of these are enjoyable and I can wear them for long periods of time. There’s a good amount of volume adjustments and headset controls both directly from the headset and the software.
The wireless capability of these are all-around solid. You can go quite a distance with these without any distortion and the battery life is solid.
The build quality is very good, and everything is well made for the most part. The fabric on the ear cushion could be better in my opinion and the foam inside as well but it’s definitely not a deal breaker.
The sound quality is flat out of the box but can be adjusted in the software to achieve your desired sound signature.
Th 7.1 surround sound is good enough to be somewhat immersed but don’t expect a true 7.1 surround sound experience from these.
The Steelseries Arctis 7 made our Best Wireless Gaming Headsets of 2018 which you should definitely check out to see how it stacked up against the rest of the competition.